Unboxing the Silents: “The Intrigue” from the First Women Filmmakers Series On Bluray

Kino Lorber’s epic box set of women directors and screenwriters, Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers, was a treasure trove of material both rare and famous. But that set was just the tip of the iceberg and so we are looking at a new release of pictures from writer-director Julia Crawford Ivers.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for the review copy!

An Ivers-penned film, The Call of the Cumberlands, was included in the Pioneers box but the films found on this set will give an even broader view of her career and style.

You can order a copy on DVD and Bluray here. (Disclosure: Affiliate link, I earn a small commission.)

We get two complete films, one mostly-complete film and one fragment:

The Intrigue (1916): Written by Julia Crawford Ivers and directed by Frank Lloyd. WWI death ray picture starring Lenore Ulrich, who I liked so much in Tiger Rose.

The Intrigue is scored by Ben Model and includes a commentary track by Anthony Slide.

The Majesty of the Law (1915): Reel 4 only. Written and directed by Julia Crawford Ivers.

This film is scored by Makia Matsumura.

A Son of Erin (1916): Written and directed by Julia Crawford Ivers and starring Dustin Farnum. Some stills and title cards are used to paper over missing footage.

This film is scored by Eunice Martins.

Ben Blair (1916): Written by Julia Crawford Ivers, directed by William Desmond Taylor and starring Dustin Farnum.

This film has a score by Andrew Earle Simpson.

So, a very nice collection of mid-1910s Paramount (or proto-Paramount) productions. I happen to be incredibly fond of mid-1910s Paramount productions, so this suits me fine.

And, obviously, this is a rare chance to showcase one of the many talented women who were writing and directing movies during the silent era. This set is an absolute treasure trove for anyone interested in the history of women in film.


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  1. Steve Phillips

    Thanks Fritzi for the heads-up on this new release!
    I hadn’t expected that the big 6 disc set of “Pioneers” films released by Kino in 2018 would be followed by another Pioneers collection.
    Have you heard whether still more might be coming?

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